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Build One South Africa



Build One South Africa – Mmusi Maimane, party leader

Why should the Jewish community vote for you?

I know we say this before every election, but these elections on 29 May 2024 really are the most important elections since 1994.

For the first time since the transition to democracy, the African National Congress (ANC) is unlikely to receive a majority in Parliament and the country will need to build a new coalition to govern South Africa and chart a way forward for our nation.

The time has passed for parties who define themselves by race or ethnicity. These parties don’t represent our hopes and dreams for a better South Africa.

We can Build One South Africa, where all people, regardless of the colour of their skin or the G-d they worship, can prosper and thrive.

Besides the corruption and ongoing water and electricity crises – not to undermine their importance – there are three big issues we need to address in South Africa.


Forty two percent of all South Africans have no work, more than 50% of all youth are unemployed.

This is a ticking time bomb. People cannot survive on just a R350 monthly grant, and the economy cannot grow unless we have a comprehensive growth and job-creation plan.

This needs to be our priority as a nation. We need to incentivise business to create jobs; create special economic zones in the townships; fix our rail, ports, and electricity supply; get rid of the red tape choking economic development in the country; and support entrepreneurs. We’ve developed a plan to put a job in every home.


The second pillar of Build One South Africa is to solve crime, which includes effective policing and devolving crime fighting and crime intelligence down to local level. Imagine what we could do if we had proper police leadership, enough police officers, or even if we trained our police properly.

In 2024, 83 South Africans are murdered every single day. That’s more than 30 000 people killed each year. People don’t sleep safely in their homes at night, women can’t walk the streets after dark. No-one seems to care.

We have to lock up criminals.

Ninety seven ANC officials were named in the Zondo Commission report into state capture, and not a single one has been prosecuted. Let’s put them all in jail. It’s unacceptable that the future of South Africa has been stolen by the very officials we previously elected to Parliament.


At Build One South Africa, we understand the importance of education and the remarkable lessons that the Jewish community can teach us about it. Let’s be honest, 30% isn’t a pass rate.

Eight out of 10 Grade 4 learners in South Africa can’t even read for meaning. Early childhood education is close to non-existent in the country, and hungry mothers give birth to stunted children. We need to introduce a school voucher system so that parents have a choice where to send their children for the best education. Imagine if we could create a school the quality of King David in one of the townships, and parents could use their vouchers to send their children to the best possible schools?

Effectively, the government has reintroduced a new form of Bantu education, condemning most South Africans to be manual labourers, unemployed, or unemployable. We have to fix this urgently and create a viable future for our children and South Africa.

Thirty years of corruption, incompetence, and maladministration has stolen our future.

Let’s stop sending the criminals back to Parliament, and let’s vote for strong ethical and moral leadership. Let’s vote in a government we deserve.

The South African Jewish community feels let down by the government and isolated in South Africa. What will you do to make sure that South Africa is a welcoming place for the community?

The South African Jewish community has been one of the great inspirations of our country. Each year, I attend the Absa Jewish Achiever Awards, and I’m blown away by what your tiny community has achieved and contributed to our nation.

We’ve all watched in horror at the rising tide of antisemitism around the world and in South Africa, with the government’s complicity.

To watch the attacks on Jews at the Judicial Services Commission or in Parliament is simply devastating.

But this is your country as much as mine. Your roots lie deep in the dusty soil of this nation. You’re full and equal citizens of this land, and you need to join the fight to oust our corrupt government from power. If you do nothing, you’ll get the government you deserve.

What’s your stance on South Africa taking Israel to the International Court of Justice?

One always has to question the motives of the ANC government as well as the economic motivation for everything it does.

South Africa has so many problems including lack of economic opportunities; jobs; housing; electricity; water; homelessness; one of the highest unemployment rates in the world; and the highest murder rate on earth.

We’ve also shown a complete lack of respect for the law, failing to arrest former Sudanese Head of State Omar Al-Bashir during his visit to South Africa; failing to prosecute the 97 ANC officials named in the Zondo Commission report into state capture; allowing people like Shabir Shaik and Jacob Zuma to walk free from prison; and allowing Julius Malema to make genocidal racist comments.

Our priority must be to get our house in order in South Africa before we look to grandstanding on the international stage.

Antisemitism has been on the rise in South Africa, as demonstrated in the Judicial Services Commission, Cricket SA, and Parliament with attacks on Jewish institutions and schools. What would you do to tackle antisemitism of this nature?

Antisemitism is just another form of racism, and the South African Constitution has established a number of institutions to protect citizens from racist attack. The Jewish community needs to use these institutions to protect these rights.

But the Jewish community shouldn’t be doing this alone. All of civic society should be rallying to support your community in the same way that Jews have been at the forefront of protecting other people’s rights in our beloved country.

The moment we allow any form of racism to flower in our country, we cannot pick and choose who the victims will be. All racism, including antisemitic bigotry, has no place in South African society.

What’s your position on the relationship between Israel and South Africa? What would you like it to be? Should South Africa open its embassy in Israel and return its ambassador. If so, why? If not, why not?

I’m going to answer the above two questions together.

The transition to democracy in South Africa was miraculous. It taught us that warring parties can and must be brought together to find peace. You don’t make peace by talking to your friends, you make peace by talking to your enemies.

We all know that a two-state solution is the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and South Africa has so much to offer in terms of its learned experience during our negotiations process.

But South Africa cannot play this role if it doesn’t speak to both parties, and if it doesn’t accept the role of honest broker in mediation.

The department of international relations and cooperation and the presidency have done a great disservice to the country by isolating themselves from their peacemaker role and exacerbating rather than mitigating the conflict.

Why did you leave the Democratic Alliance (DA)?

I left the DA five years ago because the party no longer represented the hopes and aspirations of the people of South Africa. I said earlier that parties playing race politics cannot govern this country. For those of us who believe in non-racism, the DA became an increasingly difficult place to describe as home. I wanted to build a party that could Build One South Africa for all of us. That’s why I had to start a new party that could house these ideals.

Some say your time as DA leader has coloured how they think of you. How do you react to that?

I think I learned a lot from being leader of the DA, the then official opposition in Parliament, as I learned a lot while I was involved in the ANC. We learn from every experience, good and bad.

But I’m a black man with a white wife and mixed-race kids. I speak nine of the 11 official languages and believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it – black, white, coloured, Indian, Asian, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, and atheist.

All we want is a South Africa that works, that feels like home, so join me in Building One South Africa together.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Gary

    May 12, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    Much better response than that pf the DA. I preferred the DA when it was led by Mmusi Maimane and think Mmusi Maimane deserves to get back into parliament.

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